Passenger transport severely disrupted as carriers protest new license award rules
TRANSPORTS – Intercity passenger transport is severely disrupted in many counties in Romania, where carriers protest the line ministry’s plans to change the rules for the award of licenses. The protest was organised after the Transport Ministry announced it would change the scoring system for the companies taking part in bids for transport routes, on grounds that the current system has led to a monopoly in the market. Carriers around the country are waiting for a meeting with PM Viorica Dăncilă, before they make a decision regarding future protests. Meanwhile, the Transport Committee in the Chamber of Deputies has invited the line minister, Lucian Sova, to provide explanations.
JUDICIARY – The Public Ministry has all the resources required in order to make the Section investigating magistrate offences operational, the Prosecutor General Augustin Lazăr announced today. The statement comes after the Government passed an order on Wednesday regarding the establishment of that section, which is to take over all pending and finalised cases from the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, as of October 23. Augustin Lazăr said the act has already been made public in the Official Journal. Under the law, the new Section is to start working within six months after the law has taken effect, and the Higher Council of Magistrates is yet to initiate the procedures for making it operational. The new unit will be made up of 15 prosecutors, and its chiefs will be appointed further to a selection process run by a commission of 3 judges and a prosecutor from the Higher Council of Magistrates.
PENSIONS – In Romania, a new Pension Bill is to be sent to Parliament, after having been passed by the Government. The Labour Minister Olguta Vasilescu says no pension will be reduced under the new law, nor will the standard retirement age and contribution period be amended. Novelties include the introduction of master’s degree and doctoral degree studies as corresponding to pension fund contribution periods. The new law is to come into force in several stages until 2021, when it has taken full effect. Its provisions will regulate the benefits paid to over 5 million Romanian pensioners.
COURT – The Constitutional Court of Romania is discussing today the notifications filed by the Supreme Court, the National Liberal Party, the Save Romania Union and President Klaus Iohannis against a bill amending the Code of Criminal Procedure, as it has been drafted and approved by the ruling coalition. The magistrates claim the text is fraught with ambiguities, whereas the Opposition says the bill helps favour offenders. Also today the Constitutional Court is to discuss the bill on the organisation of courts.
BREXIT – German Chancellor Angela Merkel says progress has been made in the Brexit negotiations, just one week ahead of a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels for what might be one of the last chances to reach an agreement on the terms of the separation between Britain and the European bloc. Merkel said the 27 remaining EU member countries are very united and that they have great confidence in the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Negotiations are stuck particularly over the Irish border issue and ways to monitor trade over that border.
FOOTBALL – Romania’s national football team is playing today, away from home, against Lithuania, in the UEFA Nations League. On Sunday the Romanians will take on Serbia, in Bucharest. In the group standings, Montenegro and Serbia have 4 points each, Romania 2 and Lithuania nil. Depending on its performance in Nations League, Romania may have a better position in the draw for the Euro 2020 preliminaries. Moreover, if they fail to qualify, the Romanians might still have a chance in the play-offs, provided they finish at least 2nd in their group. Meanwhile, Romania’s Under 21 team is playing on Friday against Wales, at home, and on Tuesday against Liechtenstein, in the last games of the 2019 European Championships qualifiers. Top of the group is Bosnia, with 18 points, followed by Romania. The last time Romania took part in a Euro Under 21 final tournament was 20 years ago.
YOUTH OLYMPICS – The Romanian table tennis player Andreea Dragoman won the bronze in the women’s singles event at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. This is the 7th medal for Romania, which Wednesday night was ranking 7th in the nations with 2 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals. Romania’s Youth Olimpics delegation is made up of 34 athletes, 21 girls and 13 boys, competing in 14 events. The Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires conclude on October 18th.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)